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Manufacturing seeing uptick in St Louis area

Coffee-Mate containers flow along conduits on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, at the Amcor Rigid Plastics LLC plant in Hazelwood. Amcor, with the installation of two new blow molding lines in the plant, will need to add about 50 jobs related to the manufacture of plastic containers for multiple products. Photo by Christian Gooden, cgooden@post-dispatch.com

Missouri's economic growth lagged the nation's in 2018 for the ninth straight year, the U.S. Commerce Department reported Thursday.

The Show-Me State's gross domestic product grew 2.3% last year, trailing the U.S. growth rate of 2.9%. Illinois' GDP grew 2.1% and has lagged the nation for seven straight years.

The 2018 results included fourth-quarter growth rates of 1.8% for Missouri and 1.3% for Illinois. 

If Missouri had grown at the same rate as the U.S. since 2009, its economy would be larger by about 15 percent, or $47.7 billion. The state's GDP at the end of 2018 was $323 billion, or 1.5% of the U.S. economy.

Illinois' GDP was $880 billion, or 4.2% of the national economy.

The manufacturing sector was the biggest contributor to Missouri's growth last year, followed closely by wholesale trade and information services. The state's finance, government, agriculture, construction and transportation sectors all shrank last year after adjusting for inflation.

Durable goods manufacturing also was the biggest contributor to Illinois' growth, followed by real estate.

Washington's 5.7% growth rate in 2018 was the highest for any state. Alaska was the only state with a shrinking economy; its growth rate was -0.3%.